Top Ten BTOP Award Announcement Communications Tips

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  1. Create a communications plan: List your key audiences, main messages, and how you will communicate with each. (It doesn’t have to be fancy.)
  2. Know your protocol: Get smart on communications protocol in your state including who should communicate about a federal award, how, and when.
  3. Name a primary contact at the state library for BTOP: This person should handle all media and other external requests for information about your BTOP award.
  4. Develop a set of main messages: Describe your BTOP project and ongoing work to sustain broadband, and tell people why this is important for people and communities in your state…these will guide all your communications on the project.
  5. Train your staff and participating libraries on your main messages: Make sure they are familiar with the messages and give them guidance on what they can and cannot say (given your state’s political environment and communications protocols).
  6. Draft a press release now: Create a press release about your project. Make sure to include information about the impact of your project on people in your state, and recognize important partners and supportive leaders (i.e., your governor) in your state.
  7. Develop a written statement: Having a short, one- or two-paragraph statement prepared, including information about how your BTOP project will impact people in your state and a quote from your state librarian, will enable to you to respond immediately to requests for content in state-level or partner press releases, or local news opportunities.
  8. Draft a “prepared quote” from the State Librarian: Like a prepared statement, having a quote at the ready is a great way to get prepared for last minute media requests or if your lead spokesperson is not available for interview. [SEE: quotation from Bernard A. Margolis]
  9. Create a backgrounder on your project: Create a one page overview of your project emphasizing how it will help people in your state improve their lives. This one-pager can be used for almost anything and will be invaluable in ongoing outreach to decision makers and communities.
  10. Ask for help: Have a conversation with a state government contact about resources. Elizabeth Carrature is available to help you on BTOP communications.

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Last Updated: August 17, 2010